Home Weekend WTF? Weekend WTF: 17yo Girl Who Lived On McDonalds Since Age 2 Collapses

Weekend WTF: 17yo Girl Who Lived On McDonalds Since Age 2 Collapses

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Just… just take a look:

Ever since she was a toddler, Stacey Irvine has eaten little else but chicken nuggets and the occasional portion of chips.

Now, at the age of 17, she has been warned by doctors to change her appalling diet or die.

The factory worker – who says she has never tasted fresh fruit or vegetables – had to be taken to hospital earlier this week when she collapsed after struggling to breathe.

Doctors found that her 15-year ‘chronic chicken nugget addiction’ has left her with anaemia and inflamed veins on her tongue.

So deficient was her body in vitamins and nutrients that she had to be injected with them.

Although she has been urged to drastically change her diet, she says she cannot give up the fast food.

Stacey, who is recovering at home on a high-dose course of vitamins, has been hooked on chicken nuggets since her mother let her try them in a McDonald’s restaurant at the age of two.

‘I loved them so much they were all I would eat,’ she said. ‘I just couldn’t face even trying other foods. Mum gave up giving me anything else years ago.’

The teenager, of Castle Vale, Birmingham, admits she will occasionally vary her food intake – by eating a slice of toast for breakfast or a packet of crisps.


Nutritionist Dr Carina Norris said that, during her ten years of experience, she has not come across such an extreme case of food addiction.

She believes Stacey’s diet will have serious long-term health implications, as her body will be lacking iron, calcium, antioxidants, vitamins and good fats.

‘She should view her health scare as a warning – a wake-up call that she needs to drastically change her diet.

‘Fruit and vegetables are integral to long-term health. Without them, you greatly increase the chances of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

‘So the sooner you can get children eating them, the  better. It is also important that you eat lots of different colours. Stacey’s diet is going to be very beige and high in saturated fat.’

The article goes on to explain the problems of both a monotonous diet as well as a die of strictly chicken nuggets and I just… I just hope they can help her.

Lots of side-eyes being delivered to some of the stuff in the full article, though. I’m just being real.

You may also like


MObetta January 28, 2012 - 11:33 AM

I just knew you were gonna touch on this! How sad and disturbing. Her mother saying she tried to give her other foods but she wouldn’t take them. All I’m gonna say is I have a 4 yr old niece and she can be strong willed, too. That will serve her well as an adult, but she’s a baby right now and she already knows she eats what I put in front of her…and it ain’t no dang chicken nuggets. Auntie don’t play that!

milaxx January 28, 2012 - 11:53 AM

I can’t with this one. Big slap upside the head to the mother who allows a 2 year old to decide to only eat chicken nuggets and a double slap upside the head to anyone who at 17 is hospitalized and still refuses to change. I could maybe give her a pass if she was at least willing to “cut back” . I understand how difficult food addictions can be. But what I am reading is a food addiction that is literally killing someone who refuses to change anything.

Tea January 28, 2012 - 1:10 PM

the way the mom needed to handle this at age 2 was to not buy chicken nuggets anymore when the child refused to eat. I’ve never met a child yet with a strong enough will to go *that* hungry that they would starve to death by not eating chicken nuggets. This has got to be some form of anorexia….and it surprises me that it took 14 years to catch up with her. My biggest regret with my kids is that when they were young I allowed fast food. Speed up 15-18 years and I’ve gained so much knowledge that had I known then what I know now my kids would have never even known what fast food was! I hope this girl gets the help she needs and that she can grow to experience the wonderful tastes and textures of whole, fresh fruits veggies and grains. so sad.

Serenity January 28, 2012 - 1:14 PM

Her mother needs to be arrested for child endangerment

Tina F. January 28, 2012 - 3:17 PM

Ever since this story came out, I have been waiting to see what you were going to say about this one. While I do sympathize with the Mom for not being able to get her daughter to eat more than the nuggets, I do believe it is her fault she ended up this way. Kids at the age of two can get stuck on more than just nuggets if you give them encouragement and allow them to help make decisions of what they would like to eat, then perhaps they may like it better. Just a thought…

Tara Melissa January 28, 2012 - 4:14 PM

I give a major-side eye to the entire portion that mentions she’s been hooked on this diet since age 2, and now, as a 17-year-old, is being urged by doctors to change her habits or continue having declining health. It just seemed to imply that they were holding this young woman responsible for the diet she’s been fed throughout her formative years. How many people have a significant say in what they eat at two? Four? Ten? Pickiness is one thing, but it isn’t as if a 5yr old has much purchasing power, whether it’s from a grocer or a drive-thru.

I know someone who barely ever eats fruits or vegetables. His idea of a vegetable serving is getting green peppers on a Papa John’s pizza or those dried “veggies” that come with Ramen packs. His entire house, where he lives with his mother, grandmother and baby brother, is stocked with restaurant carry-out and frozen, prepackaged meals (and of course, Ramen, pop-tarts and the like). I can be shocked and appalled that he refuses to eat fruits at the age of 21, but is it as surprising if that’s all he was fed growing up? He’s conditioned to expect food to be a certain (processed) texture, taste, mouth-feel.

Back on topic, it’s a shame that it had to come to this for her. (Although I wonder if it was possible for her to take multivitamins? I know it isn’t an adequate substitute for proper nutrition, but it would be better than nothing, right?) I hope she’s able to scale back and incorporate a more diverse range of food in her diet.

Si January 28, 2012 - 7:54 PM

I’ve never seen any teenager with such big dark bags under their eyes. It wouldn’t be a stretch to attribute that to her eating habits. I’m actually surprised she managed to function all these years on such a diet.

Shaka January 28, 2012 - 9:07 PM

First of all I’m pissed she’s standing there posing with that mess instead of a fruit basket. That was the first thing I noticed then them bags under her eyes. She looks 27. Smh! I blame the mom, she set the tone at the age of 2. However now this young lady has had a wake up call and still refuse to change that’s all on her. She’s 17 now. I cannot imagine not eating fruits and veggies. I grew up on fresh veggies out my Gram’s garden. This is just tragic! And watch if she dies the family will try to sue McDonalds. I haven’t eaten a nugget in 2 years from there every since I discovered how they were made. I pray she changes her mind and diet, for her sake

Takiia January 28, 2012 - 10:13 PM

That is very wierd to me. Didn’t her pediatrician ask about her dietary consumption? And shame on the mom. At two years old you you CAN introduce children to other things. My daughter would eat the same things over and over but I had to introduce her to some things. She is not a good fruits and veggie eater as I would like for her to be, but 24 hour 7 day a week fast food? No.

Gloria January 28, 2012 - 11:43 PM

Soooooooo…I know everyone is blaming the mom…and a lot of people are blaming the girl now that she’s old enough to know better, but…something about this just doesn’t feel right to me. I think that this girl may have some mild form of autism (probably Asberger’s) that prevents her from being able to tolerate the texture and taste of the majority of foods. When you are Autistic, you are on sensory overload, so even taste can be too much for you. She might have a SEVERE dislike for the way other foods are crunchy, juicy, soft, hard, etc. In a case like this, it might be REALLY difficult for a mother to get her to eat anything that she doesn’t like.

I’m not saying this is the case, but as a girl with an Autistic brother, I have seen and experienced the ways in which seemingly normal sensory experiences can be too much for certain people to handle.

unscrambled January 29, 2012 - 2:45 PM

I was coming down here to say the same thing. My brother is autistic and has a lot of texture challenges with foods. I’m really thankful that his diet is more varied, and that he’s generally in good health.

I really hope that this family gets access to feeding experts, and I too am really shocked that no one has offered assistance in feeding before now.

My favorite childhood feeding expert on the internet, BTW, is Dr. Katja Rowell, if anyone reading along is struggling with feeding their kids (and all of the policing from strangers that this apparently entails). She has lots of experience with kids with disabilities, as well as adopted kids.


oekmama January 30, 2012 - 7:56 AM

Thank you Gloria and unscrambled for the last two posts. You brought a different perspective to it.
I have two kids, and getting them to eat enough fruits and vegetables is always a challenge, even without Aspberger’s syndrome. I think it’s about giving your kids the information – you can make kids understand why vitamins, minerals and fibre are so important, and giving them the opportunity to develop their own tastes.
Over time, they choose which vegetables they like to eat – My kids must eat at least one at lunchtime. They must try something at least once, and they are allowed to change their mind next week. Parents can be flexible with food, once the basic ground rules have been set.
And those ground rules have to take the peculiarities of each child into consideration. So if my child didn’t like the texture of a vegetable/fruit, then it’s my job as a mom to either find at least one that my child will eat or find a way to cook/chop/puree/present it so that she will eat it. If it means talking to the GP or some specialist, then that’s my job as a mom.

Chicken McNuggets for 15 years?!?! Come on now.

Eva February 1, 2012 - 5:06 PM

She looks older than 17. I think the mother was wrong. When I was growing up there was no such thing as, “I don’t want to eat that.” If I didn’t eat what was put on the table, then I didn’t eat, period. My mother didn’t have time to cater to a child. I don’t think any child is so strong willed that they will starve to death. To me it sounds like the mother just didn’t want to deal and took the path of least resistance.

Shannon Ø March 3, 2012 - 12:20 PM

The parent needs a swift kick in the neither regions.

Comments are closed.